What We Do
MUM FOR MUM NCJWA is a home visiting volunteer program, in which trained and supervised volunteers who are mothers themselves visit mothers in their homes on a weekly basis for the last trimester of pregnancy and for the first year of the baby’s life in order to provide emotional support.
The program is about early intervention in the crucial first year of a baby’s life where the volunteer’s role in reducing isolation, anxiety and depression in the mother enables her to better parent her baby and provide secure attachment with proven outcomes for the future.
MUM FOR MUM currently supports approximately 100 mothers a year, with 90 active volunteers. We have supported mothers from over 55 nationalities.
MUM FOR MUM was established as an initiative of the National Council of Jewish Women NSW in 2008 and expanded its services to the North Shore of Sydney in 2017. The program is based on the JF&CS’s Visiting Moms Program which started in Boston 28 years ago and the Em’ l’Em Program in Israel.
Impact of the Program
For the past three years Dr Irene Swil has conducted a formal evaluation of the program based on exit interviews with a majority of the recipients of the program just before or on completion of the program and with volunteers after each mother is supported. Each year the mothers described the service using words like “lifesaving”; “essential”, “amazing” and “invaluable”.
The volunteers were equally complimentary in terms of how the program helped new mothers and how they had personally benefitted from their participation. They said the new mothers “gained confidence, “loved the company”, “gained from trust in someone else”, and the volunteers themselves “learned to listen non-judgmentally”, “gained knowledge, empathy, and caring with no expectation of anything back”, and “felt satisfied and fulfilled”.
Nadene has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, a postgraduate counselling qualification from the Australian College of Applied Psychology, a Cert 1V in training, is a qualified yoga teacher, and a “Circle of Security” facilitator.
Lyn has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She worked for 15 years at Jewish Care as a caseworker working with vulnerable families.
Professor Marie-Paule Austin also serves as Director of Perinatal Psychiatry at the Royal Hospital for Women and Director of Sir John of God Mother-Baby Unit.
National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (NCJWA) defines itself as a grassroots organisation of volunteers striving for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms
Kulawicz & Wolanski Fund JCA Lotben Fund